“IS THIS NOW”— The Lasting Effect of Abuse

“Is This Now”

The Lasting Effect of Abuse

Amos Lassen

One who is abused as a child never really loses memories of that and this can be emotionally damaging as we can well imagine. Ingrid (Sabrina Dickens) is a young woman who was abused and she faces struggles all the time and finds it extremely difficult to even admit to having been abused. She sees the world as a hard and difficult place that reminds her of the pain she suffered at the hands of her abuser. She has a social worker, a Ms, Murray (Anu Hasan) and she finds it hard to even speak with her.

But then something happens to change her tremendously. Ingrid meets Jade (Brigid Shine) and things seem to begin to get better. Jade is involved with a local and popular band whose lead songwriter Johnny (John Altman) takes a special interest in her and we see Ingrid’s creativity come to the fore. We also realize that the past is still with her and still very real. Ingrid later gets to France with the band where she meets Angeline (Ruth Miller). Angeline helps Ingrid face her demons and it did not take long until a new guy enters Ingrid’s life giving her a bit of a taste of love. As she spends time with Dion (Fabien Ara), we understand that she finds a way to deal with her past but putting it where it belongs; behind her.

This is the first film by director Joe Scott that I have seen and I am very impressed with this quite emotional film in which he is able to bring music and drama together. It is certainly not easy to deal with child abuse and make a film about it as an underlying theme. Ingrid is our main character and we watch as she, at first, avoids dealing with her past before taking it head on and trying to overcome it as she seeks love and meaning in her life. We see her revisiting some of those very painful moments and then faces them and it is that if she does not do so, she will never be able to move forward. These super intense moments are balanced by music and light dialogue. I understood that we were moving toward that time when self-realization would both heal her and release her from the past.

Sabrina Dickens gives a wonderful performance as Ingrid. We share her anguish and we see that one of the reasons she has not been able to forget her past is because others will not let her do so. Yet even while facing what is inside, we get a sense of hope from her and understand that the way she presents herself to others helps her to hide the bitterness within. The supporting cast also is excellent and it is through the actors that see a dark side of humanity and those who make it thus yet we also see those who are willing to help wounds heal and who actually care for each other.

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